Manitoba interactive digital tax credit could see time limit, cap nixed

Manitobans who produce interactive digital media could benefit from improvements to a tax credit being proposed by the Progressive Conservative provincial government.

Changes would 'level the playing field' with other provinces, minister says

Manitoba Progressive Conservative Finance Minister Cameron Friesen and Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Cliff Cullen announced the changes on Monday as part of the government's proposed budget implementation bill. 1:00

Manitobans who produce interactive digital media could benefit from proposed improvements to a tax credit.

The changes would include eliminating the current two-year time limit for eligible projects and getting rid of a maximum $500,000 credit per project.

Finance Minister Cameron Friesen announces changes being proposed to the interactive digital media tax credit at Sisler High School in Winnipeg on Monday. (CBC)
Manitoba Progressive Conservative Finance Minister Cameron Friesen and Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Cliff Cullen announced the changes on Monday as part of the government's proposed budget implementation bill.

Cullen told reporters that enhancements to the tax credit would "level the playing field with other jurisdictions," such as Ontario.

The interactive digital media tax credit, which was introduced by the NDP government in 2008, provides a 40 per cent rebate to eligible companies to create interactive digital media products such as apps and games.

Cullen said the government will provide a 40 per cent rebate to companies that pay at least 25 per cent of their wages to Manitoba employees as part of the credit program.

It will also offer a 35 per cent rebate to any company that pays less than 25 per cent of its wages to Manitoba employees "but pays at least $1 million over a given tax year for eligible work performed by Manitobans on eligible projects," Cullen said in a news release.
The ministers made their announcement at Sisler High School in Winnipeg, which offers programs for filmmaking and game design. (CBC)

Friesen said the PC government reviewed the tax credit program and decided some "tweaking" was in order with regards to the size and scope of what it offers.

The ministers made their announcement at Sisler High School in Winnipeg, which offers programs for filmmaking and game design. Improvements to the tax credit will provide jobs for students in the Sisler program and other Manitobans, the ministers said.

Other changes proposed in the Tories' budget implementation bill include:

  • Annually indexing personal income tax brackets and the basic personal amount starting in 2017.
  • Maintaining a $470 cap on the seniors' school tax rebate.
  • Expanding the green energy equipment tax credit.
  • Extending the small business venture capital tax credit to the end of 2019.